Money talks, NFL veterans walk
Itâ€™s a sad truth in the NFL that, in this salary cap era, itâ€™s next to impossible for an athlete to play his entire career with the same team.Â Weâ€™ve seen it in the past, and weâ€™re seeing it again this year.
The latest victims of this reality are a pair of players who will eventually end up with their busts on display at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio â€“ wide receiver Marvin Harrison and linebacker Derrick Brooks.
After 13 glorious seasons in Indianapolis, Harrison requested and was granted his release by the Colts.
There was no way Indy could afford to pay Harrison the $13.4 million he had left on the final year of his contract.Â And Harrison, whose 1,012 catches rank behind only the legendary Jerry Rice, was not willing to dramatically restructure his contract.
So the 36-year-old Harrison, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection,Â will take his pass-catching act to another city, possibly with his hometown Philadelphia Eagles.
Brooks, among the greatest players in Tampa Bay history, was informed that he will be released before the start of free agency.
A similar fate could await San Diego running back LaDanian Tomlinson unless heâ€™s willing to restructure his contract.
Already departed, for financial reasons, are Jacksonvilleâ€™sÂ Fred Taylor, the 11th leading rusher in NFL history, New Orleans career rushing leader Deuce McAllister, and former Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAllister of Baltimore.